7DRL 2015, Day 2


This is going well! This whole zero polish ASCII graphics approach is refreshing – it’s really nice to be able to just have an idea for a thing to add and then, 10 minutes later, it’s in the game and I’m playing with it.

Alright, as promised: a brief overview of what this is: I’m really into roguelike design, but I’ve actually done very little of it. Figured it was time to change that.

One particular idea I’ve wanted to play with for a long time now is turn based stealth – it’s a thing that sounds really good in theory, but I’ve never really been able to get it to work in practice. So, this game is all about trying out stuff in that direction, and seeing what works.

Should have a playable build tomorrow, all going well!


7DRL 2015, Day 1


Back from GDC! I’m so sleepy D:

So, I’m working on a new thing! I’ve kinda left it too late to do anything “official” for this year’s seven day roguelike (which, annoyingly, almost always clashes with GDC – or in this case, GDC jetlag), but I feel like making a roguelike, and I feel like spending about seven days doing it, so who cares about the jam deadline?

I don’t have a good track record for finishing roguelikes – I always get caught up on stupid unimportant details. This time, I’m trying a different approach – zero polish. I’m using ASCII, I’m doing a rough implementation of everything, and just trying to get as many ideas down as possible – if I discover anything fun, I’ll poke at it a bit further.

Will talk about the actual mechanics I’m trying tomorrow, once I’ve made a bit more progress. Don’t want any ideas to crystallise just yet.


Busy making other plans

Hello 2014! Don’t worry, I’m not making any public new year’s resolutions – I never keep em anyway.

I was just thinking that I haven’t been posting much here recently, you know? Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve said much at all about what I’ve been working on. So, here we go: a snapshot of projects I’ve been working on recently, projects I’ve been thinking about working on, and projects I’m planning to come back to:

Untitled DarkSoulslike

Last time I mentioned this, I was looking for an artist. Well, I found one! A very talented London based comic artist called Cristian Ortiz, aka CROM, creator of Golden Campaign.

Collaborations have a way of getting a little out of hand, but I’m still hoping that this one will come together as a small, contained world to experience. Realistically, I think it’ll take another month or so.

Halting Problem

I took a complete break from this game just before the IGF submission deadline last year. I haven’t worked on it since. I needed some time away from it. Still do. I wanna finish a few small things before I take this on again.

Halting Problem is a big, scary game. There are a few ideas at its heart that I think have potential to be very, very special, if I’m good enough to bring them to life. I haven’t forgotten about this game. It feels the way Super Hexagon did, the way VVVVVV did, and the way At a Distance and Nexus City did – that idea that won’t go away.

When I come back to this game, I don’t want there to be any distractions – I can feel that working on this one is going to be all consuming, that’s it’s going to take everything I have.

Untitled Roguelike

I worked on a game for last year’s 7DRL that I still think about a lot. I dunno when I’m going to find time for it. Maybe it’ll resurface at some point, as something else.

NewCity RPG

I moved to London at the end of last year, and spent my first month here making an RPG about it. It’s a game about a place, and mostly about getting across what that place is like – lots of distinct areas with their own personality, based on whatever alien impression a brief visit with them left me with. There’s a shoreditch level, an islington level, a few other places – and an underground system that links it all together.

I’m long enough here now that it doesn’t feel alien to me anymore, so I’m not sure where to take it. Maybe that’ll come to me, as I get to know the city a bit better.

Vector thing

Really, it’s just tech at this point, and an idea. I owe Stephen a fan game…

VVVVVV’s last hurrah

VVVVVV is always going to be really damn important to me. It’s my final fantasy, the game that changed everything for me.

I’ve had an incomplete iOS version of the game working for over a year now, but other projects have kept me from finishing it up. I’d really like to get that out soon, though. Over Christmas I spent a little time finishing up the port, and I’m happy to say that the really hard stuff is done, now. I just need a week or two to sort out the details.

In addition, Nicalis have been porting the 3DS version of the game to PS Vita, and it feels wonderful on it.

So here’s an announcement of sorts, then.

This year, I’m going to release VVVVVV on PS Vita, on iPad, on iPhone, on Android, on Ouya. And, if I can manage it, all at the same time. This will very likely be the last thing I ever do with VVVVVV, and I wanna go out with a bang!



Seven Day Roguelike, Last day

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Phew! Day seven, that’s it. I figured for the last day I should show a video that’s longer than 6 seconds, so I recorded a session of the game.

That bit in the video above is just randomly spawning a new enemy every 6 turns or so, against a player with a dagger (just attacks directly ahead) and a bow (ranged weapon with a reload time of three turns). There’s more than that in the game, but I don’t have graphics for everything yet so I kept it simple. The combat’s feeling fun already, which is a very good sign, I think.

Was a bit more laid back today – spent some time thinking through more game elements – more weapons, more enemies, more areas. I’m super into where this game is going, and I haven’t even gotten to the stuff that I’m REALLY excited about yet.

Right so, I’m off to IGF next week, so this will probably go on hold till I get back!


Seven Day Roguelike, Day 6

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[click to watch]

Day 6! I’m not actually entering the contest anymore, but I figured I’d try to keep up the momentum until the challenge was over. I don’t care about the deadline, I’m finishing this one.

There were basically two ideas that I had going into this thing – a theme idea, which I’m still pretty far from implementing, and a mechanic idea, which I finally implemented today. The mechanic idea isn’t anything complex – I don’t particularly like the back and forth nudging-into-each-other combat that’s at the heart of most roguelikes. I wanted to try approaching it differently, so I figured, let’s make a roguelike that’s all about ranged combat instead. I wanted to try making a roguelike where close combat is really dangerous and rare, and where you did everything you could to avoid it.

Funnily enough, I thought it was the theme idea, not the mechanic idea, that would prevent me from getting this done in seven days, but I’m six days in and I’ve only now implemented ranged combat 🙁 Oh well.

One day left. Hoping I can piece together some actual content before tomorrow night, if only for myself.


Seven Day Roguelike, Day 4

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[click to watch]

Day 4 – I think this is the last day I’m considering this game a 7 day roguelike entry. Today wasn’t especially productive – just added some gui stuff, and support for more complex types of attacks.

Overall, though, the game is actually going really well – I think I’ve got something cool on my hands here. Unfortunately, it’s now really really obvious that I’m not going to be anywhere close to finished by Friday night. So I’m out. Still planning to finish the game though, just not for the contest – right now I’m just hoping to manage to finish this before IGF!

Maybe next year I’ll just stick to ASCII and spend more time working on the interesting stuff, heh.

All that said, the deadline has been useful for making progress, so I guess I’ll continue with these check ins until then and see what I manage to make by the end of the week…


Seven Day Roguelike, Day 3

Posted in 7drl

[click to watch]

Day three: very productive day. My game now has basic combat, stats and inventory. Feeling overwhelmed with enthusiasm for the project, but frustrated that I’m still so far away from implementing the ideas that are inspiring all this.

It already feels like a game that’s going to take longer than it’s deadline to see through, and I know from experience what happens to projects like that 🙁 For the moment, though, I think I can continue to delude myself.


Seven Day Roguelike, Day 2

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Day two, other things going on so only slight progress today. I gutted parts from several other unfinished games to give myself some fun new features – textboxes, scripting, and proper pathfinding.

Tomorrow I intend to start combat! I have a vague 7-day plan that would require combat to be finished by Tuesday evening…